Week 1 1-7 January 2018 Mazatlán – Bahia de Chamela 240 nm
1 January Monday Mazatlán going south.
New Years Eve in Mazatlán was relatively quiet. We had one restaurant close that had some music going on until early morning, but almost discrete.
While eating breakfast we decided to leave after noon as the grib file showed some wind during the afternoon and evening. Weigh anchor shortly before noon and could sail in modest wind on flat water until sunset when the wind increased for some hours before it died.
Due to good conditions we were too early and had to slow down not to reach Isla Isabela before sunrise. Not fun to motor slowly in four knots when the swell is building up. Very uncomfortable!
2 January Tuesay Isla Isabela 85 nm
The moon was still above the horizon at the sun rise and the approach to the anchorage was perfect.
In spite four boats already anchored in the southern cove we found a spot for Moon, although lots of rocks on the bottom. The chain was “talking” the whole time.
Slept for an hour before launching the dinghy and motored to the beach.
The main reason for stopping at the island was all the birds. The island has a nick name: “Galapagos of Mexico”, and sure we have never seen so many Frigate birds in one place before.
Blue footed and Brown Boobies were also numerous, as were the Heermans Gulls and Tropical Birds.
The walk through the colonies were pure magical! Lots of birds nesting and not at all afraid of people. Lots of male Frigate bird with fully “inflated” red balloons trying to impress females and scare away other males.
We came close to the Blue footed and Brown Boobies nesting on the ground and got good photos showing the blue feet clearly. We saw lots of empty nests on the steep cliffs around the island, but we never could find out who had used them and when.
Back in Moon we had lunch and later the four boats left the cove. We rapidly took care of the possibility to re anchor and use the only sandy spot not having to listen to that rattling sound from the chain all the time. On top of that we got much better holding in sand if the wind changed.
The evening came with some refreshing light wind across the anchorage over land.
3 January Wednesday Isla Isabela.
A quiet night with a soft swell that disappeared completely during the night.
During breakfast we had a Humpback show at the entrance of the bay, hundred meters behind Moon. What a fantastic start of this day. Later on we took the dinghy for a tour around the island.
On the north side we saw a school of half meter sized tuna like fish swimming around and around in tighter and tighter circles. They didn’t seem to bother until we came right into the circle. Probably some mating procedure as they were not taking care of the surrounding and eventually dangers. No wonder there are bigger fish hunting close to the island.
Back in Moon we had a swim and checked the bottom paint and it looked very good. Even the propeller was free from growth and barnacles. Obviously the paint from New Zealand works fine. The low revs on the prop helps of course and don’t put much strain on the adhesion. The new cutless bearing seemed to work fine too, couldn’t feel any movement when we tried to “shake” the prop. The new cooling system might help?
From our light grounding up in Desolation Sound we couldn’t see any trace.
It was 25 C in the water and on top of that we had our own bay. It has been a long time since we could sundry our well rinsed bodies! We’ll hope that the forecasted breeze this afternoon will come or it will be too hot? The breeze came after our salad lunch, perfect direction from shore out to sea perpendicular to the little swell we had.
Still no new neighbors and we kept on taking photos of the surrounding birds.
No rush to continue because of almost no wind.
4 January Thursday Isla Isabela going south
Still alone in our cove as we woke up at sunrise. Same fabulous weather as the two previous days, but as usual no wind. Around nine a soft breeze started and that increased the comfort down in the boat without using fans
A dinghy came from the three boats that was anchored on the east side of the island, probably tired of the swell and wanted to see if there was a good spot to anchor. He returned without finding a good spot, so we kept having our bay to our self. Moon´s anchor is in the only sand spot in the cove and we have not heard anything from the chain since we changed position after the four boats left.
Before noon the wind increased and we got anxious using the wind. Small white caps made us decide to leave.
Just as Björn on the bow started to prepare for leaving, the dinghy came back with three people heading for the beach. Björn made a sign for them to approach us and told them we were leaving our sandy spot. They immediately turned around to move their sail boat and when we were hoisting our sails just out of the cove we saw them anchor in “our” spot.
We had a nice sailing for two hours before the wind decreased. But on almost flat water we could continue sailing in spite the wind was not more than seven knots. Late evening the wind died and we had to engage the engine.
During the night we passed Puerto Vallarta and a big cruise ship came from south, turning into PV crossing our course. Some “entertainment” trying to establish if he will come in front of us or?.
AIS is fantastic. Only after some minutes it was clear it was going to pass in front of us, in spite that was pointing south of PV. But the captain probably had experience from sailing boats suddenly slow down because lack of wind. The opposite is almost not possible? So now wonder going in front of us. After our CPA the cruise ship turned north eight degrees, so much for those who claim that big ships don’t alter course for the small ones, and this time we were the one to give way because under engine and having the cruise ship on our starboard side.
5 January Friday to Bahia de Chamela 155 nm and lots of motoring
The sun raised on a clear sky, but still no wind. We could now see the mainland for the first time and it was much greener compared to the California peninsula that looked more like a desert.
We anchored shortly before four o’clock in the well protected Bahia de Chamela among ten other boats with very good distance between the boats.
Some music from the restaurants, but nothing compared with “the hell hole” Cabo san Lucas!
No jet-skis and no parachutes, only small open boats bringing people from the beach to the islands out in the bay. At six the music from the beach just stopped and the only thing we could hear was the swell crashing onto the beach.
Our long term planning continued during dinner. We have become a little bothered about spending time in places we already have seen. Life is not eternal?.We have to sleep on that:
6 January Bahia de Chamela
Sunshine and enormous condensation on deck. After breakfast and some e-mailing we were ready to go ashore. Drove the dinghy into a little estuary and in behind the village where we tied the dinghy and went into the village. Found lots of small groceries and further in a bigger one.
Back in Moon we had our delayed salad lunch before we took the dinghy to a Canadian boat that spent a lot of time in Central America and had lots of information to share. Left them after an hour and back in Moon we studied the books we had borrowed.
7 January Sunday Bahia de Chamela
A refreshing wind during the first part of the night. In the morning not so much condensation on deck and that was soon heated dry by the sun. We used the morning to take photos of useful information in the pilots.
We also had to write an e-mail to our insurance company because leaving Mexico we have to change our sailing area. Meaning we have to decide where to go?
A weak south wind gives a nice cooling effect at the anchorage at lunchtime. We took the dinghy to the Canadian boat after lunch to hand back the books and then in to the village. Agreed to see them over beer on the beach later this afternoon after a long walk on the beach.
After some groceries we sat down and had a few beers together and a lot of talking about life in general?
Close to sunset they took their dinghy on the beach back to their boat Appleseeds, and we went through the village to our dinghy in the river.
On the way out we decided to have dinner on the lithe restaurant on the opposite side of the river.
Had a nice garlic barbecued big snapper to share while the last sunrays left the high mountains behind Moon out at anchor. Back in Moon we had a well deserved swim and a shower before bedtime.
Annika & Björn